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Guest Blog // Selected Security Content Provided By Sophos
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9/20/2010
10:59 AM
Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
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4chan Organizes Denial-of-Service Attack Against MPAA

The popular image board 4chan has been implicated in attacks against websites belonging to the entertainment industry.

The popular image board 4chan has been implicated in attacks against websites belonging to the entertainment industry.The distributed denial-of-service (DoS) attack, code-named "Operation: Payback Is A Bitch," was organized by 4chan users after the film industry hired a firm called Aiplex to attack sites hosting torrents of pirated movies.

Clearly, the motley hordes of 4chan didn't take kindly to this and stirred up their cohorts to deluge Aiplex's website with traffic in what -- some would describe -- as the firm getting a dose of its own medicine.

As Sophos blogger Chet Wisniewski describes, the DDoS attack didn't stop at Aiplex either. Further attacks struck the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the Recording Industry Assocation of America (RIAA), and, to a limited extent, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).

Call to arms to DDoS RIAA

There's two sides to this, of course. While we can't condone the 4chan users who launched a DDoS attack against these organizations, it's also hard to defend the actions of the RIAA, MPAA, and their colleagues at Aiplex.

DDoS attacks are considered criminal activity in many parts of the world -- and folks shouldn't support them, no matter which side of the copyright debate they sit on.

Make sure your computer is properly protected and that third parties can't take over your system to launch a DDoS attack.

Graham Cluley is senior technology consultant at Sophos, and has been working in the computer security field since the early 1990s. When he's not updating his award-winning other blog on the Sophos website, you can find him on Twitter at @gcluley. Special to Dark Reading.

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